The TruRating team was lucky enough to be in attendance for the annual RetailNOW event in San Antonio this past week. While we certainly enjoyed our panel session on Innovating as an SMB Retailer – thanks to ScanSource’s Kevin Kent and TSYS’s Marc Castrechini for being such good sports! – there was more than enough on the floor to keep even the casual attendee interested.
With the VAR community undergoing something of a transformation at the moment, evolution was a key word on the lips of many. Here’s a selection of some of our key takeaways and what they mean for the payment’s world at large.
“We have to do the hard things today, so we don’t have to do the impossible tomorrow” – John Kirk, President of RSPA
The traditional VAR model has long focused on one thing and one thing only – selling POS and then making money on the processing. While this may once have been sufficient, the model has evolved and it’s a plain fact that SaaS (Software as a Service) and HaaS (Hardware as a Service) are the new norm.
While some forward-thinking parties have embraced this change, a large part of this has been driven by an increased sophistication in terms of expectations from retailers. Technology has changed the game – the businesses who succeed in the future are those who offer a truly consultative approach to payments – a one-time cash hit and run is no longer a sustainable approach.
SMB retailers are ready to innovate – with or without you.
A point echoed in several sessions across the course of the event was that SMB retailers are ready to innovate – and they’re ready now. Many SMBs are now run by tech-savvy millennials with high expectations. The role of the reseller community is now judged by a new standard – ‘near perfect’ is taken for granted as the rule, not the exception.
The VARs and ISVs that will succeed in this new world are not necessarily expected to be ‘experts’ when it comes to every value-added solution under the sun, but they do need to know what is available and, perhaps more to the point, which solutions will add the most benefit to their retail clients. By bringing new opportunities to the fore that deliver clear and measurable value to the retail community, resellers can not only keep their current customers happy, but drive acquisition too.
ISVs and VARs need to maximize vendor-partner relationships for growth
While the message from retailers sounded loud and clear, on the other side of the ecosphere vendors, manufacturers and distributors were also vocal about their desire to work with the reseller community to help drive innovation and growth.
In a panel hosted by veteran Jim Roddy, it became clear that the idea of VARs as purely buyers, and vendors as purely manufacturers, is one that is now simply out of date. By working closely together and developing a deeper understanding of the services each party offers, there is an opportunity to maximize vendor-partner growth, through identifying adjacent revenue streams and delivering an expanded business offering that works for vendor, partner and retailer simultaneously.
In a statement from the closing session of the event – “Uncrappify-ing the future” – Jeff Haven made a passionate plea to the reseller community to provide solutions that are simple but powerful enough to allow retailers to focus on what they do best: selling. “We’ve got to find a way to make the world smaller for our customers, so they can feel they have a place in it.”
By empowering retailers with innovations that give them the confidence to know that they are providing experiences their customers love, the community as a whole has the power to do just that.
If you were in attendance at RSPA 2019 and have thoughts on the key takeaways from the event we’d love to hear them – tweet us @TruRating.
To find out more about TruRating’s point-of-sale customer feedback technology, visit our website and book time with one of the team today.